Posts from April 6, 2004

A Maureen Dowd in every pot

A Maureen Dowd in every pot
: Well, now the right has one, too. It has its very own Maureen Dowd.

Read David Brooks’ column today and tell me that it (a) makes one damned bit of sense, (b) is worth the price of the ink in his periods.

It is an amateurish exercise in what I call speculative humor: trying to find jokes where they don’t (yet) exist.

He’s trying to be funny, but he fails. He’s trying to be cute, but he fails. He’s trying to say something but he fails.

It’s just like the worst of Dowd.

Equal-opportunity twittery.

National Pussyfooting Radio

National Pussyfooting Radio
: You have to hand it to NPR for finding new euphemisms. Tonight, on a story about the homeless in California, they were called the “placeless population.” Now even “homeless” is a bad word.

And we used to call people who didn’t work “bums.”

How many sell-outs does it take?

How many sell-outs does it take?
: Tonight I see Bob Dylan in a Victoria’s Secret commercial. Huh?

: Joe Territo has a link to the commercial.

The Daily Stern

The Daily Stern
: Action on the Senate indecent “decency” bill could come as soon as tomorrow (conveniently, while Stern is on vaca):

If Senator Sam Brownback gets his way, the Senate could be voting on anti-indecency legislation as early as tomorrow. To fast-track a vote, Brownback and other supporters of his Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act of 2004 are lobbying to get the bill placed on the Senate’s unanimous consent calendar.

However AFTRA and the Creative Coalition are mobilizing efforts to delay a vote. According to The Hollywood Reporter, AFTRA is attempting to persuade at least one senator to object to putting S. 2056 on the consent calendar. That would likely delay a vote until after the Senate’s April 12-16 recess.

AFTRA and the Creative Coalition’s biggest objection is a section of the bill that would impose $500,000 fines against performers found to have made indecent remarks on the air. Calling those penalties “both excessive and misdirected,” AFTRA forwarded nearly 1,500 signatures and letters to Senate members last week protesting the legislation. Other groups in the creative community also oppose the bill, including the Screen Actors Guild, the American Federation of Musicians, and the Association of Independent Video & Filmmakers.

There are other provisions in S.0256 that could raise objections, like an amendment that would freeze the FCC’s revised ownership rules for one year, and a section that would place violent programming under the same regulatory auspices as indecency. However, Brownback is working on a compromise that would remove some of the more objectionable provisions.

Prized?

Prized?
: Dan Gillmor urges us to look at the Pulitzer winners and ask whether bloggers could produce such work. “Reporting and editing of this caliber is why I hope Big Journalism survives and, despite its failings, thrives in the emerging world of grassroots journalism.” Fair point.

Dave Winer asks why these journalists couldn’t have blogs themselves to use them in their reporting. Fair point.

I come at this from an other perspective and ask why the Pulitzers matter. Too many news organizations edit their work with a prize jury in mind instead of their readers. I’ve said before that if I ran a paper or a TV news show, I wouldn’t enter anything into contests, for the contest that matters is serving our readers and viewers.

That’s why I’m glad that this blog world hasn’t gone prize mad. Oh, we have various popularity contests and that’s fine. And I think it’s good to recognize quality where we see it (I was a judge of The Week’s opinion awards and was glad, mainly, for the attention and respect they gave to blogs).

But I see bloggers lusting after links and traffic more than prizes and that is how it should be.